STRONG TURNOUT REPORTED AS MARSHALLS ELECTION

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Absentee ballots not due until December 5

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (Radio New Zealand International, Nov. 21, 2011 ) – There are early indications of a strong voter turnout in Majuro to vote in the Marshall Islands national election.

Our correspondent, Giff Johnson, says the Electoral Administration says about 36,000 people have registered to vote to elect members for the 33-seat parliament.

He says many voters showed up as soon as polling began.

"Most of the polling stations, which opened at 7am, seemed to have solid lines, plenty of interest, and people showing up. And the vote will go on all day today and wrap up at 7pm, although the people in line at 7 can vote, even if it goes later. And then at some point after that, they’ll start counting ballots."

Giff Johnson says it is likely that thousands of overseas votes will be cast by Marshall Islanders living in the US, which could be crucial in determining the outcome.

He says postal absentee ballots are allowed up to December the 5th.

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